UPDATED: Gringo’s Tacos has closed!
It’s not surprising, with the proliferation of food trucks and pop-up stands nationwide, to see mobile food and small-scale restaurants crop up on the Outer Banks barrier islands, too. Even on Ocracoke Island, accessible only by ferry, there’s a taco truck, hot dog stand, BBQ truck, and a handful of ice cream, snow cone, and coffee carts. This type of business model makes perfect sense for the hard-to-access islands whose economy is based on a seasonal clientele. So it’s no surprise to find a small wooden shack in the middle of the Hatteras Landing shops acting as a taco stand.
At first glance Gringos Tacos might seem like your standard Americanized Mexican restaurant, and while there are elements of that, they offer a few surprises and most importantly, an inexpensive and very flavorful way to enjoy some local seafood.
Case in point: the daily menu above, with crab nachos and mahi mahi tacos.
We sought out Gringos for a quick lunch while stuck in line for the Ocracoke Island ferry. We ate a few tacos while watching fishing boats come and go and enjoyed the fruits of their labor. First up: the surf and turf taco with shrimp and shredded beef. Very tender and well-seasoned beef, plump little shrimp perfectly cooked, plus lettuce, cheese, and a very flavorful pico de gallo, all served in a flour tortilla.
Second was the blackened mahi mahi taco, with a generous portion of fish, lettuce, cheese, and pico. Again, a real winner. Filling, freshly made, with balanced flavors.
I’m hoping to make a return trip to Gringos again before we leave the islands. Even if I can’t, I hope this crew stays busy so we can see them again next season!
If you want to visit:
58848 Marina Way (map it!)
Hatteras, NC 27943
Follow them on Facebook
Open daily 11a-8p